Thesis Title

Examining the Social Impact of Pull-Outs Programs in Elementary Education for Students With Learning Disabilities: What are the Social Effects of Pull-Out Programs

Graduation Date

Spring 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Students with learning disabilities leave the classroom to attend one-on-one and small group sessions with resource specialist teachers who work with students with Individual Education Plans. Programs designed to meet the needs of learning disabled students fall under the umbrella of the Resource Specialist Programs (RSP). These programs include remedial academic instruction, English language development and speech/language assistance. Other students are pulled out of the classroom to receive instruction for Gifted and Talented Education providing challenging curriculum to meet the needs of advanced students.

The purpose of this study is to examine how pull outs affect students socially. The following questions are addressed: 1) Do pull-out programs stigmatize learning disabled students? 2) Does the support they receive during the pull-out programs help them to be more confident in their work and then in turn feel more confident in themselves? Limited research exists on the effect of pull-out programs on students. The literature reviewed examines inclusive classroom and community classroom settings and how pull-out programs fit in.

It was found that stigmas related to pull-out programs did not exist when schools have active programs that involve the majority of their students and when a strong support system among the whole class is in place. It was also found that learning disabled students had more confidence in learning generally, and in their pull-out programs, as a result of attending these special programs. As expected, low self-esteem was reported by teachers in some students needing special assistance.

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